Friday, May 28, 2010

Kon Tiki Village Mobile Home Park - Denver, CO

Several years ago while researching the history of Polynesian Pop here in Denver, I ran across this old phonebook listing for the Kon Tiki Village Mobile Home Park.

As an urban archeologist, I never get my hopes too high when first visiting a historic tiki site. Based on way too many experiences of coming up empty handed, I usually have pretty low expectations. The Kon Tiki Village falls into that category. When I first visited the site back in 1996, almost all traces of previous tikiness had been erased. However, I kept looking around and discovered the last of the tiki buildings near the swimming pool.

While I was on-site, I took this picture of the entrance of the complex wondering what this place may have looked like back in the day....?

To my great fortune, several years later after much research and digging, I was able to locate this photo for the Kon Tiki Village in the County Assessors property archives. So I went back to the to take the same photo from the same angle (that's the photo above).

Taken in November 1979, you can see the large 10' tiki standing guard at the entrance to the Village (just left of center in the pic). Also note the snow on the ground and in the bushes. Some of my favorite tiki photographs of all times depict tikis covered in snow and are completely outside of their enviornment. You can also make out the beginings out the KO...N TIKI sign on the wall.

Enjoy your long Memorial Day weekend!


  1. First of all, thanks for another great post.

    Are you saying the County Assessor took photos of every assessed property? Did they do this at intervals, or only when a property was improved? (In other words, how far back do these photos go, and how comprehensive are they?) I've never heard of a County doing this, but it's INCREDIBLY COOL!!!!

    I must double check with our assessor's office here in O.C. on the off chance they'd have anything like this. What a dream come true that would be!

  2. Each file at the Assessors office only had one picture of the property. They did not document it regularly or at planned improvements. I just got very lucky that this property was documented early enough that the tiki was still in place.

    I also found the file for Tommy Wong's Island, Denver's best tiki establishment back in the day. It also had an exterior photo of the building......but that's another post for another day.

    1. Have you written an installment about Tommy Wong's Island Restaurant? I'd be very interested. My family were friends with the Wongs from the 1950s to the 1970s before losing touch.